A few months ago we looked at the manual application of hydrographics, a process also known as water transfer printing. I noted at the end of that post it was possible to automate the water transfer printing process.
Here is a video of a water transfer printing machine that provides automation to the process. This machine feeds a continuous roll of the printed hydrographic film into the bath where it floats on the surface of the water. It is interesting to note the fan just after the material enters the bath that ensure the film is completely wet out. The components to be printed to are loaded onto a conveyor that introduces them to the bath at a 45 degree angle to ensure the print envelops the substrate. At the end of the dip line the parts are then transferred to a wash line.
The only part of the process I cannot see is where the activator is applied to the water transfer film. From what I understand it is a required step in the hydrographic process but it is a step I cannot identify in this video.